Inducted in 1987
Dolph Schayes was one of professional basketball's early superstars, a crack shooter and top rebounder whose career stretched from the NBA's inaugural year to basketball's emergence as a major sporting attraction. Although Schayes represented a bridge between the old game and the new one -- he was canning two-handed set shots long after the jumper had come into vogue -- more than anything he was known as the star of the Syracuse Nationals
Dolph Schayes was one of the NBA's most durable and hard working athletes. Upon his retirement in 1964, Schayes had played in 1,059 games, more than any other player in NBA history. During his career, Dolph played in 706 consecutive games from Feb. 17, 1952 until Dec. 26, 1961. Despite being six-foot-eight, Schayes was agile and possessed great finesse around the basket. Dolph had various scoring moves: he could take set shots from the corner or drive to the basket, make the basket and sink the free throw. Constantly seeking new ways to improve his game, Schayes practiced his free throw shooting with a 14-inch diameter hoop, which he fit inside a regulation 18-inch hoop. This tactic helped him lead the NBA in free throw shooting three times (1958, 1960, 1962) and shoot an impressive .844 for a career.
A schoolboy star at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Schayes led DeWitt to the Borough championship. His skills improved as a collegian, earning him All-America honors in 1948 at New York University. Following a solid NYU career, Schayes was drafted in 1948 by both the New York Knickerbockers (BAA) and the Tri-Cities Hawks (NBL), with his draft rights obtained by the Syracuse Nationals. He chose Syracuse, and was named 1949 NBL Rookie of the Year, averaging 12.9 ppg. Following the 1949 season, the Nats merged into the NBA, and Schayes adapted well to the new environment, leading the NBA in rebounding in 1951 with a 16.4 rpg average. In a 16-year career that spanned from the NBA's infant years to the modern era, Schayes led his team into the playoffs 15 times. In 1950 and 1954, Syracuse lost to the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA finals, but Schayes earned a championship ring in 1955 when the Nats defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in seven games. Schayes, who was named to the All-NBA First and Second Teams six times each, was also selected to 12 consecutive All-Star Games. During his career, he scored 19,249 points and grabbed 11,256 rebounds.
Dolph was inducted into the New York State Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.